Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.
Something all moms can relate to is feeling absolutely exhausted at different times throughout motherhood. Add in that it’s winter right now where SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) may be an issue, and we’re still in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, and the fatigue seems to just keep on showing up in our lives.
There can be many causes of fatigue during motherhood, from the lack of sleep in the new baby days to being woken in the night because of childhood nightmares and worries to not being able to sleep with a teen is out past curfew. Some causes of fatigue are harder to pinpoint than others, such as a new medical issue like thyroid problems or the fatigue you’re experiencing actually being a symptom of a mental health concern like anxiety, depression, grief and trauma.
Exhaustion in motherhood may also be a result of moms struggling with the concept of relaxing in and of itself. Why is it so hard for moms to relax? Here are some possible reasons:
- There’s always so much to physically do to keep the household running smoothly.
- Fear that if you don’t do what needs to be done, it will never get done.
- Wanting things done the right way/perfectly, which means you do them yourself.
- Not trusting others to help you.
- Feeling like relaxing is not productive and that there are better uses for your time (which may be a learned pattern from your childhood).
- Knowing that you’re still carrying the mental load of motherhood in your head, even when you try to slow down.
- Feeling like taking care of the kids is solely your responsibility (especially if you’re a breastfeeding only mom and/or a stay-at-home mom).
- Telling yourself that you’ll relax when everything is done (but let’s be honest here, in actuality it’s never all done).
- Not feeling comfortable leaving tasks half completed.
- Discomfort around being vulnerable and asking for help.
- You put all of the needs of your family before your own personal needs.
Would you add anything else here?
So, what can we do about the issue of moms not creating the time or space to take good care of themselves? Start by noticing this pattern in your life of not prioritizing relaxation and self-care. This will help you to be more aware and insightful when this pattern shows up in your life. Then, start to create time and space in your life for self-care.
Here are some self-care ideas for the tired mom that you may want to try out in your life:
- Read that book you’ve wanted to read but haven’t yet made time for in your life.
- Watch your favorite show.
- Take a bath.
- Do some yoga stretches
- Sit and slowly drink a hot cup of tea
- Practice mindfulness- look around and really take in all that you see and hear.
- Journal- writing can be very relaxing and therapeutic
- Take a nap
- Go to bed earlier than usual
Anything you’d add here?
To close, focus on how much better you feel when you do, on occasion, put yourself first. Hopefully, this will be a great reminder that you matter too!